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(Post Link) post #1 of 45 Old 06-02-12 Thread Starter
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Need A New PC, Advice Welcomed.

I need a new PC as my Steam driven one seems to be slowly but surely dying and as it's running Widows 2000 the Software options are now very reduced.

I need nothing special as I just use it for Net Browsing, Document production and a bit of Photo Editing, no gaming or anything like that. Don't want or need a Laptop, Wireless either. A DVD/CD Reader and Writer required but that's about it. Also more than happy to stick with XP as the OS.

I'm considering this one, seems to be all I need.

eBay Item number: 260904206946

Price does matter but willing to spend a bit more if anyone thinks I should go for a higher spec but please no recommendations for a 28" super duper make your coffee Laptop !



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A little bit more expensive. But I thought upping the spec to help you get the images off quicker and a bigger hdd to store them on.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/HP-dc5800s...#ht_4437wt_922
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Thanks Brad, worth considering but I'm a bit put off by Vista and don't really need the extra HD space.

On the plus side I'm tempted by the speed........

What to do !
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I'm a bit put off by Vista
I've never had any problems with Vista!

. . .but what you really need is an iPad.
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How's he going to get the images off his camera with an iPad?
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Go for Windows 7, unless you have some software that specifically won't work on it.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/POWERFUL-D...item4ab036004f

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/IBM-Netvis...item3f135c0f9d
(but I'd spend a bit extra for another 1.5GB of RAM)

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. . .but what you really need is an iPad.
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Thanks for all the replies guys, some things to think about.

The reason I would like XP is that I've used it in the past and I'm very familiar with it.

This old dog is non too keen on new tricks.........
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XP is the last OS Microsoft released that could still look and feel like classic windows. Vista is pretty close in feel to XP Win7 is a friggin nightmare as it's totally different. I hate it. Ran a copy of it for a trial, didn't bother and reverted back straight away.
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What didn't you like about it? What made it a nightmare?
Was the trial copy a beta or a full release?

I've been running windows machines since 3.1 (and DOS ones before that)
3.1 - OK
3.11 - no change unless you had more than one PC
NT3.51 - needed a big box, but offered very little if you weren't running heavy apps on a network
95 - new graphic interface, iffy back end
NT4.0 - stable, if you could afford the hardware to get it to run.
98 - worse back end than 95.
ME - what 98 should have been.
2000 - ME's big brother, almost NT4. Quite good in later releases
XP - Early days it had more bugs than a dinner on I'm a Celebrity.
Vista - another Windows 98. Nice idea, badly executed.
Win 7 - What Vista should have been.

I'm guessing that you comment on Vista being close to XP means that you run it in XP mode, and don't like 7 because it doesn't have that mode.
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I've ran them all too, I stuck to to Win2k till about 2004.

I don't like the task bar, too big, I don't like the start bar as I think it's 180 to what I was used to, same with vista and XP, but at least with those 2 you could switch to "classic mode".

I was a very classic feel person and Win7 was too alien for me TBH. I struggle enough with the wording chosen in Vistas control panel, as my brain still to this day knows it's way around the classic variants of Windows.

It's a personal thing. I spent a lot of time on everything up to Win2k, after that I started getting lost with the layout and woding chosen for things. I hated it and Win7 topped it.
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XP is the last OS Microsoft released that could still look and feel like classic windows.

I think this has sold me on sticking to XP !
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XP is no longer supported by Microsoft. That means no updates, no security patches, no support.

We ran Vista for a while on all our work machines and it was woeful, it hogged RAM, was counter productive and overly sensitive to badly written software or drivers. Moving to Windows 7 after Vista is like night & day.
Win 7 can be switched to classic mode;
win7 classic.jpg
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XP is no longer supported by Microsoft. That means no updates, no security patches, no support.

We ran Vista for a while on all our work machines and it was woeful, it hogged RAM, was counter productive and overly sensitive to badly written software or drivers. Moving to Windows 7 after Vista is like night & day.

Win 7 can be switched to classic mode; Attachment 134664

Seems to be some difference of opinions here regarding the OS, just to confuse me no doubt ! ( Yes, the World does revolve around me... )

I take bobdas's comment re the no support thing but in the real world would this really affect me ?

So far in this Thread I'm still inclined to go for the PC that I first said, seems to do all that I want whereas so far most of the other suggestions don't really seem to suit my requirements as well.

Unless anyone can point to a real fly in the ointment..........
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You seem keen on your photography Nige - and you have a new Canon camera. Good stuff!

The 40Gb as specced in the PC you linked to will get eaten up in no time if you're saving photos onto the PC.
The amount of RAM will struggle with the larger file sizes produced by the 12Mp Canon, especially if you want to edit the photos a bit. I wouldn't like to think that you would need to reduce the resolution of the photos you are taking but I think for that PC to do any kind of photo editing in reasonable speed I fear that would have to.

Regarding lack of support - in the real world I would say yes, it will have an effect. Microsoft are no longer producing security patches for XP. Security patches are designed to prevent unauthorised access to your machine when connected to the 'net. By and large, Windows 7 (and Vista) are much more secure than XP.

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Got to agree with , with my Nikon which is just 12.3 MP I've got close to 200Gb of images.
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You seem keen on your photography Nige - and you have a new Canon camera. Good stuff!

The 40Gb as specced in the PC you linked to will get eaten up in no time if you're saving photos onto the PC.
The amount of RAM will struggle with the larger file sizes produced by the 12Mp Canon, especially if you want to edit the photos a bit. I wouldn't like to think that you would need to reduce the resolution of the photos you are taking but I think for that PC to do any kind of photo editing in reasonable speed I fear that would have to.

Regarding lack of support - in the real world I would say yes, it will have an effect. Microsoft are no longer producing security patches for XP. Security patches are designed to prevent unauthorised access to your machine when connected to the 'net. By and large, Windows 7 (and Vista) are much more secure than XP.

Interesting comments bobda. I only do pics for family and AO stuff in the main but used to enjoy both 35mm and Super 8 stuff in the dim and distant past, only recently completed scanning and transferring all the slides. Not yet found an economic way of of doing the Suoer 8 stuff.

Excellent point concerning the increased size of the images from the Canon, I hadn't considered that. I've been struggling to edit the Pics from my 5 MP Camera recently, the Roxio Editing stuff grinds to a halt on some tasks, so much so that I can go and have a smoke and still find it struggling to load when I get back.A quick edit becomes a slow build up of frustration....... I do reduce the size and quality before I Post on the Internet, thanks to my Line Speed it's the only way but lets not get me started on the Internet, good 'ole BT, some say.

Mind you this machine is now getting so bad it can struggle a bit more that it should to even open a Word doc.........

Regarding Security I have Zone Alarm, AVG and Spybot so feel reasonably, maybe foolishly, secure on the net so should I be worried about this aspect of XP ?

Haven't done a software update in this machine in four years and have had no problems, am I just lucky ?

To sum up, right now I'm confused as to which way to go with a " new " PC, really don't want a long uphill struggle with unfamiliar Software, I suspect I'll have enough problems transferring all my stuff over as it is without the added complication of new stuff to learn.

Maybe the PC Fairy will visit me overnight and leave a fully set up Computer on my desk, will be well worth the tanner I leave under my pillow tonight.....
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Got to agree with , with my Nikon which is just 12.3 MP I've got close to 200Gb of images.
I've got only half of that in everything on the machine !

I have a 320Gb External HD on which I back up everything. At current progress of filling it up I reckon that it will see me off this mortal coil !
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Definitely go for Win 7 unless you need to run very old software. It boots up fast, it shuts down fast and it's the most robust version of Windows for a long time. It can theoretically run old software in XP mode etc if you have Win 7 Pro, though I find this a bit hit and miss.
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Personally I use XP Pro on my laptop and 64-bit XP Pro on my desktop. Vista is horrid, horrid, horrid, horrid... 7 is, I agree with some other comments, what Vista SHOULD have been. I'm not it's biggest fan but if I had to buy a machine now I'd get Win 7... And revert all the Control Panel "groupings" to Classic... It was a while ago though (was the Release Candidate Free for a year version).

XP is still currently supported for critical updates (just installing some January/February updates right now) but they are due to end soon.

Install decent free security software to keep costs down (and there will be plenty of disagreement over what is best!)
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One thing with refurbs would be a question of how old the HD is and how long it will last although if that's not your major issue then go for it. I'd personally spend a bit more and get something new but each to their own, and if it does what you need then you're quids in!
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One thing with refurbs would be a question of how old the HD is and how long it will last although if that's not your major issue then go for it. I'd personally spend a bit more and get something new but each to their own, and if it does what you need then you're quids in!
Thanks for your views, more confusion for me !

The main reason I have to change mine is that I think the HD is a bit poorly and is causing most of the niggles I currently have, it's constantly chuntering away even when I'm not doing anything. The CPU usage is generally very low, only seems to increase a lot when Photo Editing, it's not unknown for me to get the message " Virtual memory is low, wait while it's increased. "

I do have some oldish software that I would still like to use so yet again I'm thinking of XP, and then Vista, and then Win 7...........

Have had lots of PC's since 1990, the year I ditched my Dragon ! Never bought a new one yet, one reason is that I'm not interested in all the bells and whistles of a new machine, I look upon a PC as a screwdriver, just a tool to do a job, messing with 'em isn't for me.

The other reason is that I'm a tight Yorkshireman !
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Thanks for your views, more confusion for me !

The main reason I have to change mine is that I think the HD is a bit poorly and is causing most of the niggles I currently have, it's constantly chuntering away even when I'm not doing anything. The CPU usage is generally very low, only seems to increase a lot when Photo Editing, it's not unknown for me to get the message " Virtual memory is low, wait while it's increased. "

I do have some oldish software that I would still like to use so yet again I'm thinking of XP, and then Vista, and then Win 7...........

Have had lots of PC's since 1990, the year I ditched my Dragon ! Never bought a new one yet, one reason is that I'm not interested in all the bells and whistles of a new machine, I look upon a PC as a screwdriver, just a tool to do a job, messing with 'em isn't for me.

The other reason is that I'm a tight Yorkshireman !
lol!

Sorry for confusing further, that wasn't the intention!

If it was just the hard drive then you could buy a new hard drive, mirror your current files across (or better do a clean install of everything) to the new drive then away you go (a new drive would be about £30 and whilst not hard to install, still freaks some people out).

Generally a Hard Drive has a projected shelf-life of about 5 years. That being said, it obviously depends on usage and I've had them last much longer (or fail much sooner) so like many things, it's more a "guideline".

I agree though that a PC is a tool - I've used/worked with them for long enough to see why people keep them at arms length or get frustrated by them.

I do a little picture editing but not enough to warrant me claiming any expertise in said area (I use GIMP for all my purposes as it's free) although my cousin (who does) set up an old hard drive as a scratch file for Photoshop I think to relieve the pressure on the main drive.
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Thanks again.

I could get a new HD and I'm quite capable of installing this but I think I really need to update the OS as well, I'm running old versions of FF, AVG, Spybot and Zone Alarm amongst others and W2K can't run the newer versions.

To buy XP and a new HD will cost more than buying one of the " refurbed " machines and also I'll end up with a faster machine with more RAM and HD space so even for me it's a bit of a no brainer.

I'm OK with backing up the new machine with all my data files as they are on an External Drive so no problem there. The thing that bothers me most is getting all the Bookmarks, Skype and other Internet related stuff across and I foresee hours of fun there...........

Still, as long as I have the fine tuning hammer to hand.....
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Thanks again.

I could get a new HD and I'm quite capable of installing this but I think I really need to update the OS as well, I'm running old versions of FF, AVG, Spybot and Zone Alarm amongst others and W2K can't run the newer versions.

To buy XP and a new HD will cost more than buying one of the " refurbed " machines and also I'll end up with a faster machine with more RAM and HD space so even for me it's a bit of a no brainer.

I'm OK with backing up the new machine with all my data files as they are on an External Drive so no problem there. The thing that bothers me most is getting all the Bookmarks, Skype and other Internet related stuff across and I foresee hours of fun there...........

Still, as long as I have the fine tuning hammer to hand.....
Well Bookmarks are still stored in a folder and I'm sure I've seen something somewhere that could automate that process... Or if you want a reasonably pain free way to do them, install Firefox's ActiveSync to sync them to the "cloud" and then link in with your new machine... Assuming it's available on that version of FF. Most of the time it's just about figuring out the directory structures to copy between - it's a while since I used 2000 so I can't remember how it differed with XP in that regard though I would probably remember if it was in front of me.

I see what you mean regarding the upgrade advantages though. I've always built my own machines partly 'cause I enjoy it. I've built new ones for a couple of hundred iirc in the past but if the refurb lasts long enough it will be better value.
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